Bright light that looks like a beacon was photographed on Mars by Curiosity rover recently.
Direct link to the photo: mars.jp.nasa.gov
What do you think this is??
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Justin Maki explained what NASA thinks is behind the mysterious light:
Bright spots appear in single images taken by the Navigation Camera on NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover on April 2 and April 3. Each is in an image taken by this stereo camera’s right-eye camera, but not in images taken within a second of each of those by the left-eye camera.
In the two right-eye images, the spot is in different locations of the image frame and, in both cases, at the ground surface level in front of a crater rim on the horizon. One possibility is that the light is the glint from a rock surface reflecting the sun. When these images were taken each day, the sun was in the same direction as the bright spot, west-northwest from the rover, and relatively low in the sky. The rover science team is also looking at the possibility that the bright spots could be sunlight reaching the camera’s CCD directly through a vent hole in the camera housing, which has happened previously on other cameras on Curiosity and other Mars rovers when the geometry of the incoming sunlight relative to the camera is precisely aligned. We think it’s either a vent-hole light leak or a glinty rock.